Black Actors

by BlackActors | created - 05 Mar 2012 | updated - 10 May 2012 | Public

Blackactors.net profiles black actors of past, present and future.

1. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...

2. Angela Bassett

Actress | Strange Days

Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City, to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son...

3. Bill Cosby

Actor | The Cosby Show

Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high...

4. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with ...

5. Hattie McDaniel

Actress | Gone with the Wind

After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West (1932). Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest (1934) and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams (1935). In this one, directed by George ...

6. Octavia Spencer

Actress | Hidden Figures

Spencer is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, which she claims is the proverbial buckle of the Bible belt. She's the sixth of seven siblings and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. A "closet" lover of acting, this practical Alabamian knew that she'd someday work in the film industry, ...

7. Will Smith

Music_department | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden ...

8. Samuel L. Jackson

Actor | Pulp Fiction

Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), ...

9. Harry Belafonte

Actor | Bobby

Harold George Belafonte was born on March 1, 1927 in New York City. He was educated at the New York Dramatic Workshop. He grew up in Jamaica, British West Indies, and did folk-singing in nightclubs and theaters, and on television and records. His debut was at the Village Vanguard in New York. Also,...

10. Dorothy Dandridge

Actress | Carmen Jones

Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruby Dandridge (née Ruby Jean Butler), an entertainer, and Cyril H. Dandridge, a cabinet maker and minister. Under the prodding of her mother, Dorothy and her sister Vivian Dandridge began performing publicly, usually in ...

11. Taye Diggs

Actor | Chicago

Taye Diggs was born in Newark, New Jersey, and was raised in Rochester, New York. He is the son of Marcia (Berry), a teacher and actress, and Andre Young, a visual artist. When he was a child, his mother married Jeffries Diggs, whose surname Taye took. He received a BFA degree in musical theater ...

12. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Actor | Lost

Born and raised in London, England, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje began his career as a model in Milan. He graduated with a masters degree in Law from London's prestigious Kings College, before moving to Los Angeles to make the transition to acting. Fluent in several languages, including English, ...

13. Djimon Hounsou

Actor | Blood Diamond

Djimon Hounsou was born in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa, to Albertine and Pierre Hounsou, a cook. He moved to Lyon, France, when he was 13. Hounsou has graced the catwalks of Paris and London as a popular male model. He has since left his modeling career and has worked on Gladiator (2000) by Ridley ...

14. Dwayne Johnson

Actor | Journey 2: The Mysterious Island

Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles). His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his ...

15. Henry Simmons

Actor | Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Henry Simmons was born in Stamford, Connecticut, one of three children to Aurelia, a school teacher, and Henry Simmons, Sr., an IRS agent. One of his sisters is his twin. Simmons earned a basketball scholarship at Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire. He graduated with a business degree and ...

16. Morris Chestnut

Actor | Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

A tall, handsome, and versatile American actor, Morris Chestnut was born in Cerritos, California, to Shirley (Wynn) and Morris Chestnut, Sr. He first came to be recognized by moviegoers starring as Ricky in Boyz n the Hood (1991), a role where he played a high school running back using his football...

17. Derek Luke

Actor | Antwone Fisher

Derek Luke was born on April 24, 1974 in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. He is an actor, known for Antwone Fisher (2002), Glory Road (2006) and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). He has been married to Sophia Adella Luke since 1998.

18. Omar Epps

Actor | House M.D.

Omar Epps is an American actor, starring on the ABC drama Resurrection (2014).

Epps was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal. No stranger to the big screen, Epps has appeared in lead roles in feature films, including Paramount's ...

19. Jaleel White

Actor | Family Matters

Jaleel White was born on November 27, 1976 in Pasadena, California, USA as Jaleel Ahmad White. He is an actor and writer, known for Family Matters (1989), Big Fat Liar (2002) and Sonic the Hedgehog (1993).

20. D.B. Woodside

Actor | Lucifer

D.B. Woodside was born on July 25, 1969 in Jamaica, Queens, New York City, New York, USA as David Bryan Woodside. He is an actor and director, known for Lucifer (2015), 24 (2001) and Romeo Must Die (2000).

21. Leon

Actor | The Temptations

Leon was born on March 8, 1962 in New York City, New York, USA as Leon Robinson. He is an actor and producer, known for The Temptations (1998), Cool Runnings (1993) and The Five Heartbeats (1991).

22. Eddie Murphy

Actor | The Nutty Professor

Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian (Laney), a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant...

23. Columbus Short

Actor | Stomp the Yard

Born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 19, 1982, Columbus Keith Short, Jr., started entertaining at the age of three, by putting on shows for his folks' enjoyment. Whether impersonating relatives, dancing or just making people laugh, everyone sensed something special about the boy. Fortunately,...

24. Kerry Washington

Actress | Scandal

Kerry Washington was born on January 31, 1977 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA as Kerry Marisa Washington. She is an actress and producer, known for Scandal (2012), Django Unchained (2012) and Save the Last Dance (2001). She has been married to Nnamdi Asomugha since June 24, 2013. They ...

25. Malik Yoba

Actor | Cool Runnings

Malik Yoba was born on September 17, 1967 in Bronx, New York, USA as Abdul-Malik Yoba. He is an actor and writer, known for Cool Runnings (1993), New York Undercover (1994) and Cop Land (1997). He has been married to Cat Wilson since December 21, 2003. He was previously married to Trisha Mann.

26. Michael Ealy

Actor | Barbershop

Known for his charming looks and deep personality, Michael Ealy blessed the movie screen with his role in Barbershop (2002). When he left Silver Spring, Maryland, with a degree in English, he headed off to New York. From there he performed in several stage productions, including the Off-Broadway ...

27. Mekhi Phifer

Actor | ER

Mekhi Phifer was born in Harlem, Manhattan, and was raised by his mother, Rhoda, a high school teacher. Phifer's acting career began when he auditioned at an open casting call for director Spike Lee's Clockers (1995) and was selected for the leading role. Working alongside Harvey Keitel and Delroy ...

28. Anthony Mackie

Actor | The Hurt Locker

Anthony Mackie is an American actor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Martha (Gordon) and Willie Mackie, Sr., who owned a business, Mackie Roofing. Anthony has been featured in feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, ...

29. Isaiah Mustafa

Actor | The Three Stooges

Isaiah Mustafa was born on February 11, 1974 in the USA. He is an actor and director, known for The Three Stooges (2012), Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (2016) and Horrible Bosses (2011).

30. Martin Lawrence

Actor | Martin

Martin Lawrence was born on April 16, 1965 in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany as Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence. He is an actor and writer, known for Martin (1992), Bad Boys II (2003) and Bad Boys (1995). He has been married to Shamicka Gibbs since July 10, 2010. They have two children. He was ...

31. Ice Cube

Soundtrack | Friday

Ice Cube was born in South Central Los Angeles, to Doris (Benjamin), a custodian and hospital clerk, and Hosea Jackson, a UCLA groundskeeper. He first came to public notice as a singer and songwriter with the controversial and influential band N.W.A. His compositions with that group included many ...

32. Blair Underwood

Actor | Deep Impact

Smart, confident, eloquent, exceptionally handsome African-American actor Blair Underwood was born in Tacoma, Washington in 1964, the son of Marilyn Ann, an interior decorator, and Frank Eugene Underwood, Sr., an army colonel. With his family, he lived all over the world. Trained in musical theater...

33. Michael Jai White

Actor | Black Dynamite

Michael Jai White is an American actor and martial artist who has appeared in numerous films and television series. He is the first African American to portray a major comic book superhero in a major motion picture, having starred as Al Simmons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Spawn. White ...

34. Tyler Perry

Writer | Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Perry was born and raised in New Orleans, to Willie Maxine (Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr. His mother was a church-goer and took Perry along with her once a week. His father was a carpenter and they had a very strained and abusive relationship, which led Perry to suffer from depression as a ...

35. Hill Harper

Actor | CSI: NY

Hill Harper, an accomplished film, television and stage actor, stars in the hit CBS drama series, CSI: NY (2004). He portrays "Dr. Sheldon Hawkes", a reclusive coroner who walked away from a promising surgical career after the traumatic loss of two patients. This February, he will star in the HBO ...

36. Jason George

Actor | Fallen

Jason George was born on February 9, 1972 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA as Jason Winston George. He is an actor and producer, known for Fallen (1998), Sunset Beach (1997) and Stargate SG-1 (1997). He has been married to Vandana Khanna since July 10, 1999. They have three children.

37. Danny Glover

Actor | Lethal Weapon

Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 25 years.

Glover was born in San Francisco, California, to Carrie (Hunley) and James Glover, postal workers who were also active in civil rights.

Glover trained at the Black ...

38. Wesley Snipes

Actor | Blade

Wesley Trent Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida, to Maryann (Long), a teacher's assistant, and Wesley Rudolph Snipes, an aircraft engineer. He grew up on the streets of the South Bronx in New York City, where he very early decided that the theater was to be his career. He attended the High School ...

39. Lance Reddick

Actor | John Wick

Lance Reddick was born in 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for John Wick (2014), John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) and White House Down (2013). He has been married to Stephanie Day since June 2011.

40. Boris Kodjoe

Actor | Resident Evil: Afterlife

Boris Frederic Cecil Tay-Natey Ofuatey-Kodjoe, better known as Boris Kodjoe, is a German actor known for his roles as Jason in the 2000 film Love & Basketball (2000), and the sports-courier agent Damon Carter on the Showtime drama series Soul Food (2000).

Kodjoe was born in Vienna, Austria, the ...

41. Jesse L. Martin

Actor | Rent

Jesse Martin was born Jesse Lamont Watkins in Virginia's Blue Ridge mountain range. His mother, Virginia Price, was a college career counselor. His father, Jesse Reed Watkins, was a truck driver. His parents divorced when he was very young. His mother then moved his family to Buffalo, New York. He ...

42. Zoe Saldana

Actress | Avatar

Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. Her father was Dominican and her mother is Puerto Rican. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic, where they would live for ...

43. Don Cheadle

Actor | Crash

Donald Frank Cheadle was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 29, 1964. His childhood found him moving from city to city with his family: mother Bettye (North), a teacher, father Donald Frank Cheadle, Sr., a clinical psychologist, sister Dawn, and brother Colin. After graduating high school in...

44. Chiwetel Ejiofor

Actor | 12 Years a Slave

English actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He is also known for playing Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things (2002), the ...

45. Omari Hardwick

Actor | Kick-Ass

Born "Omari Latif Hardwick," he grew up in Decatur, Georgia. Hardwick's parents gave him a name to set a precedent, "Omari" meaning "most high," and "Latif" meaning "gentle." He shares, "I in no way believe that I am the highest or most high, but I feel like my name gives me something to strive for...

46. Coby Bell

Actor | Burn Notice

Coby Bell was born on May 11, 1975 in Orange County, California, USA as Coby Scott Bell. He is an actor and producer, known for Burn Notice (2007), Third Watch (1999) and The Gifted (2017). He has been married to Aviss Pinkney-Bell since June 9, 2001. They have four children.

47. Shemar Moore

Actor | Criminal Minds

Shemar Franklin Moore (born April 20, 1970) is an American actor and former fashion model. His notable roles are that of Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless from 1994 to 2005, Derek Morgan on CBS's Criminal Minds from 2005 to 2016, and as the third permanent host of Soul Train from 1999 ...

48. Idris Elba

Actor | Beasts of No Nation

An only child, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born and raised in London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at Ford Dagenham; his mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting, before he dropped...

49. Keith Hamilton Cobb

Actor | The Young and the Restless

Keith Hamilton Cobb Graduated Sleepy Hollow High School and Westchester Community College. As well as New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He attended Circle in the Square Theatre School and Playwrights Horizons Theater School. His hobbies are writing, photography & renovating home. He ...

50. Darrin Dewitt Henson

Actor | Tekken

Biography April 2017

Darrin Henson is a three - time award nominated , one time award nominated author and MTV choreography award winner. Henson won the coveted MTV choreography award for NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye."

Best known for his role on the hit TV series SOUL FOOD, where Henson plays the street ...

51. Laz Alonso

Actor | Avatar

Born and raised in Washington DC, Laz always knew he wanted to be an actor. He remembers at a very early age entertaining his family by imitating relatives and family friends. He graduated from the prestigious Howard University School of Business, earning a Bachelors Degree in Business ...

52. Mel Jackson

Actor | Abduction of Jesse Bookman

Mel Jackson was born on October 13, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for Abduction of Jesse Bookman (2008), Little Richard (2000) and Dancing in September (2000).

53. Colin Salmon

Actor | Resident Evil

Colin Salmon is one of Britain's most renowned actors. With a bold voice and posture, Colin makes his characters a favorite among audiences for every role he plays. He made his feature debut as Sgt. Robert Oswald in the British mega-hit mini-series Prime Suspect 2 (1992), which gave him much ...

54. Cuba Gooding Jr.

Actor | Jerry Maguire

Cuba Gooding Jr. was born on January 2, 1968, in The Bronx, New York. His mother, Shirley (Sullivan), was a backup singer for The Sweethearts. His father, Cuba Gooding, was the lead vocalist for the R&B group The Main Ingredient, which had a hit with the song "Everybody Plays The Fool". His ...

55. Terrence Howard

Actor | Hustle & Flow

Terrence Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Anita Jeanine Williams (née Hawkins) and Tyrone Howard. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His love for acting came naturally, through summers spent with his great-grandmother, New York stage actress Minnie Gentry. He later began his acting career ...

56. Gbenga Akinnagbe

Actor | The Taking of Pelham 123

Gbenga Akinnagbe was born on December 12, 1978 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009), Edge of Darkness (2010) and The Savages (2007).

57. Richard T. Jones

Actor | Event Horizon

Richard T. Jones was born on January 16, 1972 in Japan as Richard Timothy Jones. He is an actor and producer, known for Event Horizon (1997), Vantage Point (2008) and Phone Booth (2002). He has been married to Nancy Jones since October 1996.

58. Tyrese Gibson

Actor | Baby Boy

Tyrese Darnell Gibson was born December 30, 1978 in Watts, Los Angeles, California, where he was raised. He is an R&B singer, songwriter, actor, author, television producer and model. He is well known for his actor role as Roman Pearce in the The Fast and Furious movie franchise. Other popular ...

59. Pooch Hall

Actor | The Game

Pooch Hall was born on February 8th 1976 in Brockton, Massachusetts. There he played football, ran track and boxed. Pooch won the Southern New England golden gloves in 1994. He started acting at the age of 21. He started in commercials and then made his debut in the film Lift (2001). He played ...

60. Forest Whitaker

Actor | The Last King of Scotland

Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the film The Last King of Scotland (2006), and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American male to...

61. Kimberly Elise

Actress | Diary of a Mad Black Woman

Kimberly Elise was born on April 17, 1967 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Kimberly Elise Trammel. She is an actress, known for Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), The Manchurian Candidate (2004) and John Q (2002). She was previously married to Maurice Oldham.

62. Queen Latifah

Actress | Chicago

Often considered hip-hop's first lady (though some would attribute that to Roxanne Shanté), the woman behind the moniker Queen Latifah was born Dana Elaine Owens on March 18, 1970, in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita (Bray), a teacher, and Lancelot Owens, Sr. She came from a ...

63. Glynn Turman

Actor | Super 8

New York City-born African-American actor Glynn Turman enjoyed his first real taste of acting success at the age of 13 originating the role of Travis Younger on Broadway in Lorraine Hansberry's landmark play "A Raisin in the Sun" in 1959 opposite Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Claudia McNeil and Diana ...

64. Diana Ross

Actress | Lady Sings the Blues

Best known as the the lead singer of the popular 1960s singing group The Supremes, Diana Ernestine Earle Ross was born on March 26, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, the second of six children of African-American parents Ernestine Lillian (Moten), a schoolteacher, and Fred Earl Ross, who served in the ...

65. Jamie Foxx

Actor | Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the biographical film Ray (2004). The same year, he was nominated for the Academy...

66. Phylicia Rashad

Actress | The Cosby Show

Phylicia Rashad was born in Houston, Texas, to African-American parents, Vivian Elizabeth (Ayers), a poet and art director, and Andrew Arthur Allen, an orthodontist. As a child, Phylicia, her older brother Andrew (called Tex), and younger sister, dancer and actress Debbie Allen, lived in Mexico. ...

67. Ossie Davis

Actor | Do the Right Thing

Ossie Davis was born on December 18, 1917 in Cogdell, Georgia, USA as Raiford Chatman Davis. He was an actor and writer, known for Do the Right Thing (1989), Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) and Grumpy Old Men (1993). He was married to Ruby Dee. He died on February 4, 2005 in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

68. Ruby Dee

Actress | American Gangster

Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and civil rights activist. She is best known for originating the role of "Ruth Younger" in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun (1961).

She also starred in The Jackie Robinson Story (1950), Cat People (1982), ...

69. Cicely Tyson

Actress | The Help

Cicely Tyson was born in Harlem, New York City, where she was raised by her devoutly religious parents, from the Caribbean island of Nevis. Her mother, Theodosia, was a domestic, and her father, William Tyson, was a carpenter and painter. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and...

70. LeVar Burton

Actor | Star Trek: First Contact

LeVar Burton was born on February 16, 1957 in Landstuhl, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany as Levardis Robert Martyn Burton Jr. He is an actor and director, known for Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Generations (1994) and Star Trek: Insurrection (1998). He has been married to Stephanie ...

71. Viola Davis

Actress | Fences

Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother's farm, at the then-Singleton Plantation in St. Matthews, South Carolina. When she was two months old her family moved to Central Falls, Rhode Island, where her father, Dan Davis, worked as a horse groomer and trainer. Her mother, Mary Alice (Logan), ...

72. Audra McDonald

Actress | Beauty and the Beast

Audra McDonald was born on July 3, 1970 in Berlin, Germany as Audra Ann McDonald. She is an actress, known for Beauty and the Beast (2017), Private Practice (2007) and A Raisin in the Sun (2008). She has been married to Will Swenson since October 6, 2012. They have one child. She was previously ...

73. Vanessa Williams

Actress | Ugly Betty

Vanessa Lynn Williams was born in Millwood, New York, to Helen L. (Tinch) and Milton Augustine Williams, Jr., both music teachers. Vanessa and her brother grew up in suburban New York in comfortable surroundings. Vanessa sang and danced in school productions and signed her high school yearbook with...

74. Vanessa Williams

Actress | Candyman

Born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, Vanessa Williams became a member of the New York City Opera's Children's Chorus at age 11. Vanessa then signed with a talent manager and booked her first audition, a commercial for Frito Lay. Her pattern for success clearly ...

75. Jeffrey Wright

Actor | Broken Flowers

Born and raised in Washington DC, Wright graduated from Amherst College in 1987. Although he studied Political Science while at Amherst, Wright left the school with a love for acting. Shortly after graduating he won an acting scholarship to NYU, but dropped out after only two months to pursue ...

76. Gabrielle Union

Actress | Bring It On

Gabrielle Union was born on October 29, 1972, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Theresa (Glass), who managed a phone company, and Sylvester E. Union, a military sergeant and business executive. When she was eight, her family moved to Pleasanton, California, where she grew up and attended high school. There, ...

77. Larenz Tate

Actor | Crash

Larenz Tate was born on the west side of Chicago to Larry and Peggy Tate, the youngest of three brothers. His brothers are actors Larron Tate and Lahmard J. Tate. In 1984, Larenz and his family moved to California. It was while living in California that Larenz's parents got him and his brothers ...

78. Gregory Hines

Actor | Running Scared

Gregory Hines was born on February 14, 1946 in New York City, New York, USA as Gregory Oliver Hines. He was an actor, known for Running Scared (1986), History of the World: Part I (1981) and Waiting to Exhale (1995). He was married to Pamela Koslow and Patricia Panella. He died on August 9, 2003 in...

79. Mario Van Peebles

Actor | Heartbreak Ridge

Mario Van Peebles is a highly regarded director, actor, producer and writer. His directorial skills can be seen in the retelling of the epic mini-series "Roots" starring Forest Whitaker and Matthew Goode. Van Pebbles has directed award-winning shows such as the recent hit "Empire" and "The Last ...

80. Stan Shaw

Actor | Daylight

Started acting in the Chicago production of the Broadway musical "Hair" as well as the Broadway production of "The Me Nobody Knows". His last Broadway show "Via Galactica" was directed by Sir Peter Hall.

81. Kristoff St. John

Actor | The Young and the Restless

Kristoff made his television debut at age 8 in the sit-com series "That's My Mama". Now, 39 years later, he is one of the stars on CBS-TV's "The Young and The Restless", the number one rated drama for the past 25 years on daytime television, playing the popular character of Neil Winters. Is it just...

82. Tatyana Ali

Actress | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

On January 24, 1979, Tatyana Marisol Ali was born to Sonia, who was a nurse from Panama, and Sheriff Ali, a retired police officer from Trinidad. At the age of four she started singing and got a taste of fame when she begged her mother to take her to an audition for Sesame Street (1969).

She went on...

83. Thandie Newton

Actress | Crash

Thandie Newton was born in London. She is the daughter of a Zimbabwean mother, Nyasha, a health-care worker from the Shona tribe, and Nick Newton, a British father who worked as a lab technician. She lived in Zambia until political unrest caused her family to move back to the UK. She then lived in ...

84. Taraji P. Henson

Actress | The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Taraji P. Henson was born on September 11, 1970 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Taraji Penda Henson. She is an actress and producer, known for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Hidden Figures (2016) and Hustle & Flow (2005).

85. Lena Horne

Soundtrack | Cabin in the Sky

Lena Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. In her biography she stated that on the day she was born, her father was in the midst of a card game trying to get money to pay the hospital costs. Her parents divorced while she was still a toddler. Her mother left later in order to...

86. Richard Pryor

Actor | Superman III

Highly influential, and always controversial, African-American actor/comedian who was equally well known for his colorful language during his live comedy shows, as for his fast paced life, multiple marriages and battles with drug addiction. He has been acknowledged by many modern comic artist's as ...

87. Brandy Norwood

Actress | I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

Brandy Norwood was born on February 11, 1979 in McComb, Mississippi, USA as Brandy Rayana Norwood. She is known for her work on I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Moesha (1996) and Osmosis Jones (2001).

88. Essence Atkins

Actress | A Haunted House

Essence Atkins was born on February 7, 1972 in New York City, New York, USA as Essence Uhura Atkins. She is an actress and producer, known for A Haunted House (2013), How High (2001) and Are We There Yet? (2010). She was previously married to Jaime Mendez.

89. James Earl Jones

Actor | Rogue One

James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA. At an early age, he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred in many films over a 40-year period, beginning with the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: ...

90. Aunjanue Ellis

Actress | Men of Honor

Aunjanue Ellis was born in San Francisco, California. She graduated from the Brown University, and later attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

During her career, Ellis performed on Off-Broadway theater, appeared in many film, and had roles on television. In film, she is best known...

91. Regina Hall

Actress | Scary Movie

Regina Hall was born December 12, 1970 in Washington, D.C., to Ruby, a teacher, and Odie Hall, a contractor. She graduated from Fordham University in 1992, and went on to earn a master's degree in journalism from New York University before shifting to an acting career. In 1997 at age 26, she began ...

92. Tracee Ellis Ross

Actress | Girlfriends

Tracee Ellis Ross was born on October 29, 1972 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Tracee Joy Silberstein. She is an actress and producer, known for Girlfriends (2000), Black-ish (2014) and Reed Between the Lines (2011).

93. Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Actor | The Cosby Show

Emmy-nominated actor and director Malcolm-Jamal Warner was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was named after Malcolm X and legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal.

Warner first rose to national prominence by starring on the celebrated and long-running classic television series "The Cosby Show." His ...

94. Sharon Leal

Actress | Dreamgirls

Sharon Leal is a military brat. She was born in Tuscon, Arizona. Sharon then moved with her parents to the Philippines, till she was 6 years old. She went to prayer-school there. Then, her parents packed up to move back to the US and settled in Fresno, California. Her mother, Angelita, who is ...

95. Chris Rock

Actor | Top Five

Christopher Julius Rock was born in Andrews, South Carolina and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Rosalie (Tingman), a teacher and social worker for the mentally handicapped, and Julius Rock, a truck driver and newspaper deliveryman, whose own father was a preacher.

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96. Meagan Good

Actress | Think Like a Man

Meagan Monique Good was born on 8 August 1981 in Panorama City, California, USA, to Tyra Wardlow-Doyle, who worked as her manager, and Leondis "Leon" Good, an LAPD officer. She began appearing on commercials at the age of four. Then she started guest-starring on series like The Parent 'Hood (1995), ...

97. Lynn Whitfield

Actress | Eve's Bayou

With roots that lead back to Louisiana southern aristocracy, lovely leading lady Lynn Whitfield was born in 1953, the eldest of four children and a third-generation BFA graduate from Howard University. Her dentist father was instrumental in developing Lynn's initial interest in acting as he was a ...

98. Joe Morton

Actor | Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Joe Morton was born on October 18, 1947 in New York, New York, USA. He is a television, film, and theater actor, best known for The Brother from Another Planet (1984), Terminator 2 (1991), Eureka (2006), and Scandal (2012). He also writes and directs, and is a singer/songwriter.

99. Giancarlo Esposito

Actor | Breaking Bad

Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, to an Italian carpenter/stagehand father from Naples and an opera-singing African-American mother from Alabama. His parents, working in Europe at the time of his birth, settled in Manhattan by the time he was six, and that's ...

100. Alfre Woodard

Actress | Star Trek: First Contact

Alfre Woodard was born on November 8, 1952 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the youngest of three children of Constance, a homemaker, and Marion H. Woodard, an interior designer. She was named by her godmother, who claimed she saw a vision of Alfre's name written out in gold letters. A former high school ...